Another announcement in a long string of ‘getting back to normal’ moves was made this week as both Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resort will be dropping their face mask rule for guests who are vaccinated. The rule will come into effect on June 15th! In this post, we’ll cover the details of those announcements and add in some predictions and commentary.
Here’s the announcement from Disneyland official website:
“As more people are vaccinated and the nation is turning the corner on this pandemic, we are encouraged that COVID-19 health and safety guidelines set forth by the CDC and state and local officials are being adjusted and eased.
Keeping with our thoughtful approach to health and safety measures, and taking into consideration these new recommendations, we are making some changes for Guests, effective June 15, 2021 in conjunction with the reopening of California’s economy.
Starting June 15, face coverings will no longer be required for fully vaccinated Guests both indoors and outdoors. Guests (ages 2 and up) who are not fully vaccinated must continue wearing face coverings indoors, except when dining.
While Guests will not be required to show proof of vaccination, vaccinated Guests will self-attest that they are in compliance prior to entry. In addition, all Guests will need to attest that they are aware of the State of California’s strong recommendation that guests be fully vaccinated or receive a negative COVID-19 test prior to entering the theme parks when making their Disneyland Resort theme park reservations.
When the Toy Story parking lot reopens on June 18, all Guests (ages 2 and up) regardless of vaccination status will be required to wear an appropriate face covering while on the bus transportation from the lot to the parks.
As we continue to welcome Guests back to our parks, we will continue to do so through our reservation system, which was implemented due to capacity limits when the parks reopened.”
These same rules apply to Walt Disney World where social distancing and mask rules are being relaxed outside of when guests are on transportation. In Florida, masks outdoors have been relaxed for those vaccinated but that rule hadn’t been stretched to indoors until now. Both resorts are following the leads of the state and counties they occupy.
Like the announcement states, Disney will not be checking for vaccine cards or anything of that sort, instead opting for the honor system. That’s no surprise as hardly any business seems to be checking for vaccine cards and a business as big as Disney doing it at this point could be bad optics. I don’t know how much policing there will be by Cast Members of children between 2-12 wearing masks but I would guess it will be minimal. As always, we’d suggest being compliant with Disney’s rules regardless of where you stand.
All of this is just another step towards normalcy in the Disney Parks. With social distancing being relaxed, capacity should rise exponentially over the next few months. You can already see this happening as Disney has announced restaurants coming back, including fan favorites like Ohana at WDW and Lamplight Lounge in California Adventure. Similarly, more attractions and entertainment are coming back including Animation Academy in DCA, Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters and Matterhorn Bobsleds in DL.
At this point, especially at Walt Disney World, the parks getting to full capacity is more about how quickly they can hire people. Disneyland may be a few steps behind but doesn’t have to hire nearly as many Cast Members so they could catch up in a hurry. Disney College Program has come back to Walt Disney World and should provide a boon to the amount of employees able to work. All of this leads me to believe that a hundred percent capacity should happen by the end of the year at the latest and could happen as early as this fall.
Will that mean the end of the Park Pass Reservation system? I think that’s doubtful for the time being. While I don’t think it’s feasible for Disney to enact the Park Pass all of the time, at least at WDW, I do think they’d like to track how many people will be in the park on a certain day. Disneyland Resort was already beginning this process pre-pandemic with their Flex Pass. Now I expect that on a grander scale.
Regardless of where you fall on wearing a mask or anything of that sort, it’s hard to look at today’s news as anything but good! Before long (I’d guess mid-July) entertainment will return, including fireworks at most of these parks. Now the hope is that Disney can hire enough people to dramatically increase capacity over the next few months. We look forward to what comes next and seeing all of your lovely faces!
What do you think of the lift of mask rules? Let us know, along with any questions you might have, in the comments below! Planning a trip to a Disney Park? Check out our Planning Guides to help you along the way! If you enjoy what you are reading here on Wandering in Disney please share this post with your friends, as well as like our social media pages. You can also subscribe to the blog via WordPress or email. All of those links are on the right side of this page. Thank you for reading, we really appreciate it!